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Best of New York Nightlife 2004

Best Bar That's Not Long For This World

  • Freddy’s Bar & Backroom

    485 Dean Street, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, 718-622-7035

    At first glance, the great Freddy’s—with its diverse crowd of regulars, patina of age (it’s been a speakeasy, a bowling alley, a cop bar), and nightly shows ranging from British jazz combos to “The Leonard Cohen Christmas Special”—seems to sizzle with life. But listen closely, and you’ll hear despair beneath the Serge Gainsbourg on the jukebox: Those bedheaded twentysomethings and ponytailed older-timers are grumbling about Bruce Ratner, whose plan to bring the New Jersey Nets to Brooklyn involves razing their beloved local, not to mention the surrounding blocks, to build a new stadium. (Men can check out the arena schematics hanging over the urinals.) Though they don’t really expect to stop him—“The capitalists will win,” says one—neighbors come here to craft protest signs (like nets kill dolphins), stage fund-raisers, and, while they’re at it, knock back a couple of $4.50 pints of Guinness. It might be a good idea to join them soon, before gloom inevitably gives way to doom.

From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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